Interview with Earthbits

It’s day 3 of our advent rundown of some of the UK’s finest micro businesses and today we’re talking to Fran Castaldelli. Fran is the cofounder of Earthbits, a business that sells eco-friendly and plastic free products to help people get a step closer to a zero waste life.

Amongst the man things Fran tells us about running her business, one thing stands out. She says,

“We never sell products that we ourselves wouldn’t be proud to use.”

As a consumer, it’s reassuring to know that the businesses you’re buying from are using the products themselves. But as someone who runs a small business myself, I appreciate the value in turning something you love yourself into a business that makes it accessible for everyone.

Earthbits is doing its bit to solve a genuine crisis and it was a pleasure to hear from Fran all about it.

Tell us about Earthbits in a nutshell?

EarthBits is a plastic-free shop selling essentials and eco-friendly products for those who want to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle while cutting down on their plastic consumption.

 

We fully vet all our suppliers and products, most of which are local to us, and fully investigate the sustainability of each product.

 

All our packaging is plastic-free and completely recyclable, including paper tape and plant-based glue used for labels.

 

We make sure that all our products are not just environmentally friendly, but they are also durable and high quality, to avoid unnecessary waste whenever possible.

We never sell products that we ourselves wouldn’t be proud to use and in fact, most of our stocked products are eco-friendly alternatives we personally used and loved/love in our daily lives.

Who do you run the business with

I run Earthbits with my husband, Jason.

What makes you different to your competitors?

When we decided to start living a more sustainable lifestyle, we found that most options available on the market were really expensive, and quite ‘elitist’. We decided we wanted to make eco-living as accessible and as affordable to as many people as possible, so all our designs are very minimalist and with little packaging. This keeps our costs down so we can offer competitive yet sustainable alternatives.

What inspired to you to start this sort of business?

EarthBits was born as a result of our own personal journey to live a zero-waste, plastic-free lifestyle, and out of our desire and mission to help reduce waste, pollution and plastic.

We decided to use our experience and desire to protect the planet and make it easier for people to find products they can trust, and that are not going to damage the environment.

2020 – What a year! How did Covid impact you?

We had to rearrange our warehouse to make it covid-safe, to keep us and our small team safe.

 

We work on online retail so we have been very lucky to be able to trade even at this difficult time.

What do you love most about running Earthbits?

I love thinking that while using our products, more and more people are actually being part of the solution to cutting down on plastic pollution and waste. We are changing the planet for the better one order at a time!

What have been the toughest challenges?

I actually gave birth to my second child in April, at the peak of lockdown, and at the time we were not allowed to have any staff working for us, so it was an incredibly difficult thing to manage work and family life with no help whatsoever. But I feel I can now handle pretty much anything!

One piece of advice for aspiring micro business owners?

There is nothing more rewarding than waking up every day doing the job you love. But it takes a lot of grit, hard work and perseverance, as well as continue studying to find innovative ways to be successful.

 

My advice for anybody with a business idea is to first pitch it to people to see if there is a real interest for it, look at competitors and create a unique take on that idea that can differentiate you from the rest.

 

And don’t be sentimental about it – numbers never lie, so always look at the data, not feelings, when making decisions!

Find out more about Earthbits

You can find out more about Earthbits on their website at https://earthbits.com/ or via their social media channels below:

Stacey MacNaught
Stacey MacNaught
Stacey is an SEO and content marketing specialist by day. She's the founder of MacNaught Digital and Micro Biz Mag, and has been writing copy for over a decade. She lives in Oldham with her husband and three sons.